Wednesday, January 26, 2011

bleeding trees

blood as a sign of wounding:::

--William Tell,Friedrich Schiller, 1804.

"Down to 1859 there stood a sacred larch-tree at Nauders in the Tyrol which was thought to bleed when it was cut; moreover people fancied that the steel pierced the woodman's body to the same depth that is pierced the tree, and that the wound on his body would not heal until the bark closed over the scar on the trunk."
--The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion, Sir James George Frazer

Codex Borgia (c. 1497, Mixtec-Puebla Culture. A Mesoamerican ritual and divinatory manuscript) plate 66, blood gushing from trunk

There is, in the churchyard at Nevern, an ancient tree known as Yr Ywen Waedlyd, 'The Bleeding Yew'. A blood red sap flows from its trunk.
Some say it bleeds because a monk was hung to death there, and the blood is a sign of his innocence. Others believe Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross made from the yew tree, and that the tree bleeds in sympathy. Another legend proclaims that the tree will continue to bleed “until there is a Welsh prince on the seat at Nevern Castle.”

The Bleeding Yew

The tree in this distinct pictoria [folio 13r of Codex Telleriano-Remensis] is laden with flowers; its trunk is split in half, and its roots are fully exposed, and bleeding. The accompanying text says: Tamoanchan xochitlycacan, meaning: "Tamoanchan, (where) the flowers are in its house." The broken Flowery Tree here definitely symbolizes the breaking away from Paradise - from the primordial state of things, and from the House of the Gods from which, as the text explains, men had been expelled by orders of the male and female gods, for having harmed both trees and flowers there.
--Social Memory in Ancient and Colonial Mesoamerica, Amos Megged

Codex Telleriano-Remensis (Mexico, 16th century), folio 13r

"There is a story that tells how, when a musician cut a piece of wood from a tree into which a girl had been metamorphosed by her angry mother, he was startled to see blood oozing from the wood."
--Plant lore, legends, and lyrics: Embracing the myths, traditions, superstitions, and folk-lore of the plant kingdom, Richard Folkard, 1884